7-ELEVEN Franchisee Tariq Khan: Villain or Victim? Are you familiar with long-time 7-Eleven franchise owner Tariq Khan? Please share a comment or opinion below.
Prior to June 21, 2013, Tariq Kahn was a prominent franchise success story, a Pakistani immigrant who came to America with $300 and built a profitable empire of 7-Eleven convenience stores and other businesses in Long Island, NY.
Before June 21, Mr. Kahn was celebrated in the press for his outspoken advocacy for his fellow 7-Eleven franchise owners, for his charity fundraising and support of such causes as a Long Island food bank, muscular dystrophy, and independent living for the developmentally disabled.
Most recently, Tariq Khan was credited with leading the effort to save and restore a golf course ravaged by superstorm Sandy.
On June 21, without warning (according to Khan), 7-Eleven pronounced that Tariq Khan was a thief who had been cheating them for years.
According to a Tariq Khan Declaration, 7-Eleven stormtroopers (aka 7-Eleven’s “Asset Protection” team), without any notice, warning, or discussion, turned Tariq Kahn’s life and his family’s life upside down.
They converged on Tariq Khan’s five 7-Eleven stores and “proceeded to remove, without any legal rights, all prepaid phone and gift cards, as well as the money order machines. Within a few more hours… lottery machines were also removed… despite the fact that they do not belong to 7-Eleven.”
That same day, 7-Eleven sent Khan a “a Non-Curable Notice of Material Breach and Termination.” Under this letter, 7-Eleven asserted that they had immediately terminated the franchise agreements for all of his stores… without citing any provision in their franchise agreements allowing them to do so.
Despite Khan’s “long-standing productive and mutually beneficial relationship with the 7-Eleven franchise since 1988,” 7-Eleven stated it was terminating the franchise agreements for “alleged misconduct including skimming profits, under-reporting sales and labor violations.”
The media instantly began reporting 7-Eleven’s allegations, leading with headlines that both sullied Tariq Khan’s business reputation and unavoidably blended allegations against Khan with unrelated immigration cases involving 7-Eleven franchisees being reported on in the same region:
“7-Eleven sues NY store owner, says siphoned money” Wall Street Journal
“7-Eleven Sues LI Store Owner For Siphoning Money” The Epoch Times
“7-11 sues NY store owner, says siphoned money” NewsWest9.com
“7-Eleven sues franchise owner of 5 NY stores, alleges siphoned money for years” Daily Journal
“7-Eleven Sues Long Island Franchisee for Siphoning Money” Convenience Store News
“7-Eleven Sued Franchisee, Says That He Hid ‘Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars’ Of Sales From The Chain” – FierceRetail
“Suit Claims Former 7-Eleven Franchisee Leader Khan Siphoned Off Funds” Brooklyn Roundup
Tariq Khan Claims he’s Victim of a Vicious 7-Eleven Smear Campaign
Why would 7-Eleven take such drastic, irrevocable action against such a prominent, 25-year franchisee?
According to Khan’s declaration:
The underlying motivation for 7-Eleven to file this action clearly stems from my activity as a proponent of franchisees’ rights and my Pakistani descent. These allegations against me and my family are again simply baseless and shocking and I categorically deny any such wrongdoing. I am convinced that these allegations are being made in retaliation for my long time, active involvement in the various franchisees ‘ organizations, and my vocal criticism of various actions taken by 7-Eleven upper management to the detriment of 7-Eleven franchisee owners.
According to Khan, the personal attack on him is not an isolated incident, but rather part of a larger 7-Eleven campaign to oust outspoken franchisees.
This concept of vindictive and retaliatory conduct by 7-Eleven is supported further by their simultaneous suit against another vocal proponent of franchisee rights in New Jersey -making the instant suit far from unique. In an almost identical suit being prosecuted by Plaintiff in the District Court of New Jersey (filed only two weeks ago), 7-Eleven is trying to rid itself of another franchisee “troublemaker.” 7-Eleven, Inc. Karamjeet Sodhi, Docket No.: 3:13-cv- 03715…
In the above suit, Karamjeet Sodhi, the president of the Metro New Jersey Franchise Operators Association, an entity whose primary purpose is to advocate for 7-Eleven owners in their disputes with 7-Eleven corporate management, is being sued by 7-Eleven in their effort to take away his six 7- Eleven franchises that he has owned and operated for many years.
[Left, Tariq Khan’s picture from an IGHL Independent Group Home Living tribute brochure]
While some defendants in other recent 7-Eleven actions have been dismissed by our commenters as cheaters who deserved what they got (7-ELEVEN Franchise Lawsuit Against Franchisee Pursharth Kapoor), Tariq Khan is not so easily dismissed as a franchise cheater undeserving of prior notice or a chance to respond or cure, considering:
- Tariq Khan has been a 7-Eleven franchisee for 25 years, since 1988.
- Tariq Khan’s first store was previously managed by 7-Eleven corporate. He increased profits 20%.
- Tariq Khan and his wife currently operate five profitable and successful 7-Eleven franchises.
- Tariq Khan was the longest running chairman of the National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchisees, serving in that position from 1998 through 2007.
- Tariq Khan also served as vice chairman of National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchisees, and was regional chairman from 1992 through 1997.
- Tariq Khan has been a member of the United Franchise Owners of Long Island & New York since 1989 and was President of the organization for 15 years from 1998 through 2012. He served as a vice president of this organization before that time .
- Tariq Khan served on the 7-Eleven National Advisory Council from approximately 1992 through 2004.
- Tariq Khan’s stores employ approximately 25 full time and 5-6 part-time employees
- In 2008, Mr. Khan was honored by the New York City Council as one of New York’s most prominent and influential Pakistani-American leaders.
- Khan was honored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Long Island, for his fund-raising efforts with 7-Eleven franchisees and substantial contributions on “The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon”.
- In 1995, Mr. Khan was a New York State delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business.
- In 2004, he was an official torchbearer for the Olympics (held that year in Greece).
- In 2009, Mr. Khan was honored by the non-profit IGHL for his support of independent group living for the developmentally disabled.
- Mr. Khan is on the board of directors for Island Harvest Food Bank.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE TARIQ KHAN AND THE 7-ELEVEN ASSET PROTECTION PROGRAM? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
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